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Europe in the Mirror of Russia: How Interwar Travels to the Soviet Union Reshaped European Perceptions of Borders, Time and History

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 April 2022

Jessica Wardhaugh*
School of Modern Languages and Cultures: French Studies, University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom


Studies of interwar travels from Europe to Russia tend to prioritise reactions to the Soviet Union. This article, in contrast, examines how travellers reflected on Europe in the mirror of Russia and focuses on the little-studied writing and reception of narratives by Andrée Viollis, Luc Durtain, Georges Duhamel and Alfred Fabre-Luce in the late 1920s. Through a comparative analysis shaped by recent histories of temporality, the article explores how encounters between Europe and Russia challenged assumptions on borders, time and history. Although Europeans are generally associated with a model of linear, evolutionary time, this case study reveals their engagement with competing models of time as linear, cyclical and salvational.

Copyright © The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press

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1 ‘Comité du Xe anniversaire de la Révolution Russe’ (poster), 1927, Archives nationales de France, Pierrefitte (hereafter AN), F7 13112, dossier 2, A100. The honorary presidents of the Société des Amis de l'Union Soviétique were Henri Barbusse (already renowned for his travels to the Soviet Union), Francis Jourdain and Panaït Istrati. This event is mentioned as a ‘grand messe’ – but not described – in Mazuy, Rachel, Croire plutôt que voir? Voyages en Russie soviétique (1919–39) (Paris: Odile Jacob, 2002), 99Google Scholar.

2 See AN F7 13109, dossier 1; ‘Pour la Défense de l’état ouvrier’, L'Humanité, 30 Dec. 1927. Cf. Sophie Cœuré and Rachel Mazuy, eds., Cousu de Fil rouge: voyages des intellectuels français en Union soviétique: 150 documents inédits des Archives russes (Paris: CNRS, 2012), 297–8.

3 François Hartog, Regimes of Historicity: Presentism and Experiences of Time [2003] (New York: Colombia University Press, 2015), translated by Saskia Brown, 70.

4 Duhamel, Georges, Le Voyage de Moscou (Paris: Mercure de France, 1928), 186Google Scholar.

5 Fabre-Luce, Alfred, Russie 1927 (Paris: Bernard Grasset, 1927), 261Google Scholar.

6 Eugène Marsan, ‘Des Idées et des livres: les nouveaux voyages en Russie’, Comœdia, 1 May 1928.

7 Hollander, Paul, Political Pilgrims: Western Intellectuals in Search of the Good Society (London and New Brunswick: Transaction, 1998), 6Google Scholar. These ‘techniques of hospitality’ are illuminatingly documented in Sophie Cœuré and Rachel Mazuy, eds., Cousu de Fil rouge. Other valuable studies of travel writings include Stern, Ludmilla, Western Intellectuals and the Soviet Union, 1920–40: From Red Square to the Left Bank (London: Routledge, 2009)Google Scholar, and Fred Kupferman, Au Pays des soviets. Le voyage français en Russie soviétique [1979] (Paris: Tallandier, 2007).

8 Hourmant, François, ‘La Croisière rouge, entre simulacre et théâtrocratie. Le système des privilèges des voyageurs aux pays de l'Avenir Radieux’, Revue historique, 302, 1 (2000), 121–56Google Scholar (esp. 122).

9 Hollander, Political Pilgrims, 3; Cornick, Martyn, Hurcombe, Martin and Kershaw, Angela, French Political Travel Writing in the Interwar Years: Radical Departures (London: Routledge, 2017)Google Scholar.

10 Sophie Cœuré, La Grande Lueur à l'Est: les Français et l'Union Soviétique, 1917–39 [1999] (Paris: CNRS, 2017), esp. i and viii.

11 Necessary to the state apparatus for their knowledge of foreign languages, the guides were at the same time potentially suspect of harbouring ‘Western’ sympathies – and in some cases later exiled. See Cœuré and Mazuy, eds., Cousu de Fil rouge, 11.

12 Cœuré, La Grande Lueur, 124. She does, however, describe the channels by which these accounts were usually disseminated: initial presentation of short extracts in a newspaper or review, publication of the complete work, lectures and meetings, and private interactions that are now impossible to recover.

13 Viollis, Andrée, Seule en Russie: de la Baltique à la Caspienne (Paris: Gallimard, 1927)Google Scholar. The accounts were first published in Le Petit Parisien between 16 Jan. and 16 Apr. 1927. Viollis had contributed to Marguerite Durand's feminist newspaper La Fronde before becoming a war correspondent and later reporter for Le Petit Parisien, a newspaper for which she prepared grands reportages from Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Portugal and Ireland. On Viollis's development of a self-consciously ‘objective’ journalistic style, see Harbers, Frank and Broers, Marcel, ‘Impartial Reporter or Écrivain Engagé? Andrée Viollis and the Transformation of French Journalism, 1918–40’, French History, 30, 2 (2016), 218–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

14 Duhamel, Le Voyage de Moscou; Durtain, Luc, L'Autre Europe: Moscou et sa Foi (Paris: Gallimard, 1928)Google Scholar. Both Durtain and Duhamel had also invited Olga Davidovna Kameneva, president of VOKS, to Paris in the same year, and Durtain would later become a fellow-traveller of the French Communist Party (Parti Communiste Français) and return to Russia in 1935, breaking with these sympathies only after the Nazi-Soviet pact in 1939 (see Cœuré and Mazuy, Cousu de Fil rouge, 117). On longer-term scientific collaboration, see Mazuy, Rachel, ‘La Décade franco-soviétique de 1934’, Cahiers du monde russe, 43, 2–3 (2002), 441–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

15 Fabre-Luce, the son and grandson of a banker, was a self-assured capitalist and a future collaborator (he would, in 1942, publish an Anthologie de la nouvelle Europe). He travelled with a diplomatic passport and with his friend, André Beucler, and was well-known to be unsympathetic to the regime. On Fabre-Luce's political and economic thought, see Knegt, Daniel, Fascism, Liberalism and Europeanism in the Political Thought of Bertrand de Jouvenel and Alfred Fabre-Luce (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2017)Google Scholar.

16 Sophie Cœuré and Rachel Mazuy include Viollis on their list of lesser-known French travellers in Cousu de Fil rouge, 20. Duhamel, Durtain and Fabre-Luce are not featured here, although Cœuré refers separately to their accounts in La Grande Lueur (e.g. 61–8). She does not, however, consider their discussion of Europe and its borders. Martyn Cornick likewise refers to Duhamel and Fabre-Luce as minor characters in Intellectuals in History: The NRF under Jean Paulhan (Brill: Rodopi, 1995), Ch. 5.

17 On the later inclusion of the narratives by Durtain, Fabre-Luce and Viollis in workers’ adult education, see ‘L’Éducation ouvrière. Le programme du cercle d’études de l'U.D. du Rhône’, Le Peuple, 7 Aug. 1932.

18 Gabaccia, Donna R., ‘Is it about Time?’, Social Science History, 34, 1 (2010), 112CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

19 French visitors found the Commune of 1871 on school syllabi, and were drawn into conversation about French revolutions, past and present: they knew that Russians of a certain age and social standing would be likely to speak French. There was, meanwhile, a lively Russian interest in the works of writers such as André Gide, Marcel Proust and Georges Duhamel, and even the right-wing author Clément Vautel, whose Je suis un affreux bourgeois was deemed to be ‘excellent anti-capitalist propaganda’. Durtain, L'Autre Europe, 146.

20 ‘Quatre enfants, fils de travailleurs, sont partis visiter la Russie rouge’ (flyer), AN F7 13186, dossier 2. Child-centred propaganda specifically encouraged games of ‘Red Army versus White Army’ and offered simplified lectures on the revolutionary situation in China. See Le Dirigeant. Bulletin à l'usage des dirigeants du mouvement communiste d'enfants, AN F7 13186, dossier 2 (Préfecture de Vaucluse, septembre 1927).

21 Approximately sixty French people travelled to the Soviet Union each year in the mid-1920s. See Mazuy, Croire plutôt que voir, 32 and Cœuré, La Grande Lueur, 64. Diplomatic relations declined later in the decade, and by 1927 Herriot's left-wing Cartel des Gauches had been replaced by a right-wing government under Raymond Poincaré.

22 A selection is reproduced in Cœuré and Mazuy, eds., Cousu de Fil rouge.

23 On Bolshevik cultural diplomacy in the 1920s, see Berard, Ewa, ‘The “First Exhibition of Russian Art in Berlin”: The Transnational Origins of Bolshevik Cultural Diplomacy, 1921–22’, Contemporary European History, 30, 2 (2021), 164–80CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Jean-François Fayet, ‘VOKS. The Third Dimension of Soviet Foreign Policy’, in Jessica Gienow-Hecht and Marc Donfried, eds., Searching for a Cultural Diplomacy (New York and Oxford: Berghahn, 2010), 33–49 and Cœuré and Mazuy, eds., Cousu de fil rouge, esp. 15–16.

24 Fayet, ‘VOKS’, 42.

25 See, for example, advertisements in the French Communist daily newspaper L'Humanité for accounts of Soviet Russia by L. Schumacher, both in meetings (‘Ceux qui ont vu, témoignent’, 24 Dec. 1927) and in publications (‘Un Monde nouveau, par L. Schumacher’, 10 Sept. 1928). The French Communist Party also organised speaker-meetings with delegates who had attended the commemorations, as well as with Jeanne Bullant, who had spent three years in the Soviet Union. See ‘Comité central mixte pour l'envoi en URSS d'une délégation de jeunes travailleurs français’, 1927, AN F7 13183; ‘La Vérité sur la Russie’, AN F7 13190, A331 and AN F7 13147, dossier 1. Approximate numbers of those attending these meetings in major cities such as Lyon and Saint-Étienne were given in L'Humanité on 26 Jan. 1928.

26 Gide had conceived his enthusiasm for the Soviet Union after reading Michael Farbmann's contribution to Europe, revue mensuelle on the five-year plan in 1931, and confided to his diary that he now wanted ‘to live long enough to see this enormous effort succeed’. See Cornick, Intellectuals in History: The NRF, 133.

27 French visitors, including Édouard Herriot and Andrée Viollis, were often shown the same textile factory Trechgornaya. Mazuy, Croire plutôt que voir, 99 and 101; Cœuré, La Grande Lueur, 65.

28 Fabre-Luce references Chardin on p. 229 of Russie 1927, Gautier on 192 and Barrès several times, including 231.

29 See Durtain, L'Autre Europe, 55 and Viollis, Seule en Russie, 71.

30 See Duhamel, Le Voyage de Moscou, 26 and Durtain, L'Autre Europe, 17 and 32.

31 On the idea of Europe in this period, see Christian Bailey, Ruth Leiserowitz and Jessica Wardhaugh, ‘Intellectual Dissidents and the Construction of European Spaces, 1918–1988’, in Kiran Patel and Martin Conway, eds., Europeanization in the Twentieth Century: Historical Approaches (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), 21–43.

32 The union had been founded in 1922 by Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi, who published Pan-Europa in 1923 and an eponymous magazine in 1924. See Sidjanski, Dusan, The Federal Future of Europe: From the European Community to the European Union (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2000), 9CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

33 Mikhail Narinski, Elisabeth du Réau, Georges-Henri Soutou and Alexandre Tchoubarian, eds., L'URSS et l'Europe dans les années 1920 (Paris: Presses de l'Université de Paris-Sorbonne, 2000), 57. 1926 also witnessed the conclusion of the Nouvelles amitiés franco-russes, established in Paris in 1924 with the help of Édouard Herriot as part of a Moscow-based initiative to secure sympathy and diplomatic recognition for the new regime from non-communists. Cœuré, La Grande Lueur, 86.

34 Viollis's fascination with the ‘oriental’ dimension of the Soviet Union would prompt her swift re-application to enter the country, as documented in the Soviet archives, to study ‘social and cultural life in Soviet Asia’. See Cœuré and Mazuy, eds., Cousu de Fil rouge, 92. On Viollis's accounts of French Indochina, which she visited in 1931, see Kershaw, ‘The New Soviet Woman’, in Cornick, Hurcombe and Kershaw, Radical Departures, 117–29.

35 René Arcos, ‘Patrie européenne’, Europe, revue mensuelle, 15 Feb. 1923; Heinrich Mann, ‘L'Europe, état suprême’, Europe, revue mensuelle, 15 July 1923.

36 See L'Europe Nouvelle, 509 (12 Nov. 1927), and Europe, revue mensuelle, 15, 58–60 (15 Oct., 15 Nov., and 15 Dec. 1927), and 61 (15 Jan. 1928); Durtain, L'Autre Europe.

37 The archives of the Soviet Foreign Commission also include correspondence with the editors of Europe, revue mensuelle. Stern, Western Intellectuals, 104, 143 and 164.

38 Narinski et al., eds., L'URSS et l'Europe, 144.

39 Viollis, Seule en Russie, 9.

40 Durtain, L'Autre Europe, ‘Au Lecteur’, 7. Cf. ‘A partisan traveller . . . can utter outrageous falsehoods while giving only the facts’ (L'Autre Europe, 121). Similarly, Duhamel cautioned the reader that one should not be too swift to ‘judge Slavic people with our Western hearts’ (Le Voyage de Moscou, 210). The writers distinguished between ‘Western’ (i.e. European) and US reactions – see, for example, Durtain, L'Autre Europe, 147.

41 Fabre-Luce, Russie 1927, 171. Durtain likewise chastised his readers for accepting ‘monochrome’ images of Russia that circulated in Europe, especially if they had already encountered its richness and diversity through Dostoyevsky or Turgenev. L'Autre Europe, 8.

42 Cœuré, La Grande Lueur, 90.

43 Viollis, Seule en Russie, 19.

44 Fabre-Luce, Russie 1927, 22.

45 ‘Cartographers manufacture power: they create a spatial panopticon.’ J. B. Harley, ‘Deconstructing the Map’, in John Agnew, David Livingstone and Alisdair Rogers, eds., Human Geography: An Essential Anthology (Oxford: Blackwell, 1996), 439.

46 Durtain, L'Autre Europe, 22.

47 Fabre-Luce, Russie 1927, 57.

48 Durtain, L'Autre Europe, 134.

49 Viollis, Seule en Russie, 69.

50 Duhamel, Le Voyage de Moscou, 254–5.

51 Fabre-Luce, Russie 1927, 17. Here, the impressions of Durtain, Fabre-Luce and Viollis nuance the claims made, for example, by Rachel Mazuy, that writers and journalists usually began their narratives after crossing the border, or that the relative speed of railway journeys necessarily displaced the travel narrative from journey to destination. See Mazuy, Croire plutôt que voir, 63 and Paula Henrikson and Christina Kulberg, eds., Time and Temporality in European Travel Writing (New York: Routledge, 2021), Introduction, 5 and 7.

52 Duhamel, Le Voyage de Moscou, 20–1.

53 Duhamel, Le Voyage de Moscou, 22. Russia is nonetheless ‘“diverse and undulating”, just like the humanity described by our own Montaigne’ (‘Certes, c'est un suject merveilleusement vain, divers et ondoyant que l'homme’), Montaigne, Essais [1580], Book 1, Ch. 1).

54 Duhamel, Le Voyage de Moscou, 19 (see also 11).

55 Durtain, L'Autre Europe, ‘Au Lecteur’.

56 F. Dominois, ‘Cinq Études françaises sur la Russie’, Le Monde slave: revue mensuelle (1 Jan. 1928), 143.

57 Cf. ‘Russia seemed very distant from France, and was generally considered as Asiatic rather than European.’ Cornick, Intellectuals in History, 123.

58 Duhamel, Le Voyage de Moscou, 156.

59 See Adam Geczy, Fashion and Orientialism: Dress, Textiles and Culture from the Seventeenth to the Twenty-First Century (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2013), esp. 76–7.

60 Viollis, Seule en Russie, 79.

61 Ibid., 80. This theme of Europeanised Asia would be similarly explored by Carlo Sforza in the pages of Europe, revue mensuelle. See ‘L'Avenir de l'Europe’, 15 Jan. 1937.

62 ‘None of them has ever seen a Frenchman. They want to know how they look and what they wear. With my Russian shirt, I'm rather a disappointment’. Fabre-Luce, Russie 1927, 221. Cf. Montesquieu, Lettres persanes [1721] (Paris, 1828), 73: ‘I had reason to complain to my tailor, who had caused me to lose in an instant all public attention and esteem’.

63 Durtain, L'Autre Europe, 113. Viollis found aspects of Moscow reminiscent of ‘all civilisations, and all continents: Athens, Byzantium, Versailles, Peking’. Seule en Russie, 38.

64 See, for example, Michael Meyer, ‘Word and Image – Gaze and Spectacle’, in Michael Meyer, ed., Word and Image in Colonial and Postcolonial Literatures and Cultures (New York and Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2009), xvii–xliii.

65 Durtain, L'Autre Europe, 55. Fabre-Luce also sought to distinguish between the European and Russian gaze, as between social conventions regarding the exchange and eschewal of gazes in urban spaces (21 and 25).

66 Cornick, Hurcombe and Kershaw, Radical Departures, Introduction, 2.

67 Durtain, L'Autre Europe, 13; Viollis, Seule en Russie, 16.

68 Durtain, L'Autre Europe, 33.

69 Ibid., 17.

70 Ibid., 29–30.

71 Duhamel, Le Voyage de Moscou, 74.

72 Viollis, Seule en Russie, 71.

73 Durtain, L'Autre Europe, 41.

74 Viollis, Seule en Russie, 24. On the standardisation project, see Ogle, Vanessa, The Global Transformation of Time (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2015), esp. 1–9CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

75 Durtain, L'Autre Europe, 32.

76 Duhamel, Le Voyage de Moscou, 110.

77 Durtain, L'Autre Europe, 125. The degree of supervision intensified considerably in the 1930s: see Vucinich, Alexander, Einstein and Soviet Ideology (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001)Google Scholar.

78 Duhamel, Le Voyage de Moscou, 105.

79 Ibid., 245; Durtain, L'Autre Europe, 22 and 137.

80 Fabre-Luce, Russie 1927, 166.

81 Altman, ‘Les Livres’.

82 Fabre-Luce, Russie 1927, 166. Viollis, too, recognised that the cult of science in Europe combined a fascination with power and a disregard for emotion (Seule en Russie, 17).

83 Durtain, L'Autre Europe, 42.

84 Ibid., 30 and 32.

85 Fabre-Luce, Russie 1927, 86.

86 Ibid., 171.

87 See, for example, Clarke, Robert, ‘History, Memory and Trauma in Postcolonial Travel Writing’, in The Cambridge Companion to Postcolonial Travel Writing (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018), 49Google Scholar.

88 Ette, Ottmar, ReiseSchreiben: Potsdamer Vorlesungen zur Reiseliteratur (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2020), 115Google Scholar.

89 A.R.P. Fryxell describes ‘pluritemporality’ as ‘the entanglement between different kinds of time in modernity’, although with an emphasis on the opposition between social and individual, mechanical and subjective time rather than between linear and cyclical temporalities. See ‘Time and the Modern: Current Trends in the History of Temporalities’, Past and Present 243, 1 (2019), 293.

90 Reinhard Koselleck described this as the ‘simultaneity of the nonsimultaneous’, while Duhamel articulated a similar idea in his description of humanity as ‘so varied that it offers, at the same moment in time, images of an almost Palaeolithic past alongside vibrant images of the future’. Reinhard Koselleck, The Practice of Conceptual History. Timing History, Spacing Concepts (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2002), 8, and Duhamel, Scènes de la vie future (Paris: Mercure de France, 1930), 17.

91 Hartog, Regimes of Historicity, 106.

92 Henrikson and Kulberg, eds., Time and Temporality, 1–2. See also Barrows, Adam, Time, Literature and Cartography after the Spatial Turn: The Chronometric Imaginary (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), 67Google Scholar.

93 Champion, Matthew S., ‘The History of Temporalities: An Introduction’, Past and Present, 243, 1 (2019), 250Google Scholar.

94 Dipesh Chakrabarty, Provincialising Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2007), 8. See also Ogle, The Global Transformation of Time, 5–6 and C. Lorenz, ‘The Times They Are A-Changin’: On Time, Space and Periodisation’, in Mario Carretero, Stefan Berger and Maria Grever, eds., The Palgrave Handbook of Research in Historical Culture and Education (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2017), 116.

95 Barrows, Time, Literature and Cartography, 7, and Nanni, Giordano, The Colonisation of Time: Ritual, Routine and Resistance in the British Empire (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2012), 3CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

96 Hartog, Regimes of Historicity, 105. Cf. Henrikson and Kulberg, eds., Time and Temporality in European Travel Writing, 5 and 7.

97 Fabre-Luce, Russie 1927, 178.

98 Viollis, Seule en Russie, 102.

99 Durtain, L'Autre Europe, 59. Cf. Duhamel, Le Voyage de Moscou, 158: ‘He would surely survive even the Great Flood.’

100 Durtain, L'Autre Europe, 185; Duhamel, Le Voyage de Moscou, 140.

101 Durtain, L'Autre Europe, 170.

102 Ibid., 54 and 88. Cœuré mentions briefly that travellers sometimes found Russia a ‘journey through time’, but not that they placed it simultaneously in both past and future. La Grande Lueur, 90.

103 Fabre-Luce, Russie 1927, 225.

104 Duhamel, Le Voyage de Moscou, 58.

105 Léon Moussinac, ‘Une Présentation de dix années de révolution à Leningrad’, L'Humanité, 12 Nov. 1927.

106 Viollis, Seule en Russie, 15.

107 Durtain, L'Autre Europe, 79.

108 Fabre-Luce, Russie 1927, 77.

109 Hartmut Rosa, Social Acceleration: A New Theory of Modernity (New York: Columbia University Press, 2015), 278.

110 Altman, ‘Les Livres’.

111 Georges Altman, ‘Russie d'hier et d'aujourd’hui, vu par Gaston Leroux et Armen Ohanian’, L'Humanité, 13 May 1928.

112 Fabre-Luce, Russie 1927, 67.

113 Cf. Fabre-Luce, Russie 1927, 12 and Duhamel, Le Voyage de Moscou, 68.

114 Duhamel, Le Voyage de Moscou, 150. Indeed, this fear of over-acceleration would be still stronger in his threatening narrative of America ‘aging – and aging quickly’. See Duhamel, Scènes de la vie future, 233.

115 Thiébaut, ‘Chronique bibliographique’, 475. The reference to Montaigne is implicit in the suggestion that the traveller is ‘fearful of being devoured’.

116 Fabre-Luce, Russie 1927, 160–1; L'Europe Nouvelle, 509 (12 Nov. 1927), Special issue on ‘Russie 1917–27’, 1513. In this extract, Fabre-Luce asks ‘which of the two Europes will force the other to adopt its language’. Thiébaut, ‘Chronique bibliographique’.

117 Duhamel, Le Voyage de Moscou, 252 and 258; Viollis, Seule en Russie, 11. Similarly, a review of Durtain's account in L'Humanité on 5 Mar. 1928 praised his acknowledgement of the ‘irresistible grandeur, like that of some natural force’, belonging to the Revolution.

118 Hartog also described futurism as ‘the imperative dimension of the order of time [which] decrees that the viewpoint of the future shall prevail’ (Regimes of Historicity, 107).

119 Altman, ‘Les Livres’.

120 Viollis claimed that ‘Today, individuals fare better in the atmosphere of sincere collectivism in Russia than in the false individualism of the United States’ (Seule en Russie, 335).

121 Fabre-Luce, Russie 1927, 8.

122 Marsan, ‘Des Idées et des livres’. Cf. Fabre-Luce, Russie 1927, 141, Durtain, L'Autre Europe, 108 and Duhamel, Le Voyage de Moscou, 133. Fabre-Luce, however, was less convinced of the potential of other individuals – even powerful officials – within the Soviet system. Of Tchitcherin, he commented, ‘he's a cog, not an engine’ (56).

123 Hartog, Regimes of Historicity, 105.

124 Ibid., 13, and Cornick, Hurcombe and Kershaw, French Political Travel Writing, Introduction.

125 Massis's La Défense de l'Occident (Paris: Plon 1927) was widely reviewed, e.g. in La Nation belge, Comœdia, Le Petit Journal and Action française. It was also vigorously contested, as described in Cornick, Hurcombe and Kershaw, Radical Departures, Introduction, 3.

126 ‘Aux vérités de la Palisse: Europe, ma patrie’, Le Petit Journal, 1 Dec. 1928.

127 Hartog, Regimes of Historicity, 138.

128 See, for example, ‘La Défense de l'Occident, par Henri Massis’, in Le Petit Journal, 4 Oct. 1927, and Action française on 1, 6 and 20 May, and 21 Nov. 1927.

129 Responding to Massis's call for defensive action, Rédier imagined this as the task of the current and next generation. See Action française, 20 May 1927.

130 Georges Valois. L'Homme qui vient [1906] (Paris, 1923), Preface, 7–15.

131 Léon Daudet, ‘Le Communisme et les grands ancêtres’, Action française, 31 Aug. 1927.

132 ‘Dix Ans de soviétisme: nous voilà ramenés bien plus bas que la Révolution française’, La Croix, 9 Nov. 1927.

133 ‘That's the destiny of revolutions: no sooner have they triumphed than they find future revolutions germinating within themselves.’ Duhamel, Le Voyage de Moscou, 224. Cf. Viollis, Seule en Russie, 14.

134 Fabre-Luce's observation that Russia and the United States were similarly materialist, and that Russia was perhaps ‘an unsuccessful version of America’, provoked lively debate. See L'Europe Nouvelle, 509 (12 Nov. 1927).

135 Cf. Douglas W. Leonard's conclusion that French writers, thinkers and administrators gave ‘native Africans the tools to dismantle colonialism’: Anthropology, Colonial Policy, and the Decline of French Empire in Africa (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2020), 149, and Viollis, Seule en Russie, 110.

136 ‘[The East] seizes the weapons that we hold out with a peaceful smile, and dreams of turning them against us’. Pierre Tuc, ‘Revue de la presse’, Action française, 14 July 1927. Cf. Fanon, Frantz, Les Damnés de la terre (Paris: Maspero, 1961), PrefaceGoogle Scholar.

137 See René Pinon, ‘Le Drame de Tonkin’, L'Ouest-éclair, journal républican du matin, 16 Feb. 1930, and Thomas, Martin, The French Empire between the Wars: Imperialism, Politics and Society (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2005), 227Google Scholar.

138 Fabre-Luce, Russie 1927, 264. The impact of Einstein's theory of relativity on the conceptualisation of time is emphasised by Fryxell in ‘Time and the Modern’, esp. 294–5.

139 Fabre-Luce, Russie 1927, 167.

140 Henrikson and Kulberg, eds., Time and Temporality in European Travel Writing, 5, and Hartog, Regimes of Historicity, 62–3.

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